Ecommerce: Understanding online buyers in 2021

Posted on: Monday 15 March 2021 | IAB UK

Research from our Real Living 2021 study shows how consumer behaviour is evolving in the ecommerce space and what this means for advertisers 

As part of our relaunched Real Living research, we’re delving into the area of ecommerce to understand how the pandemic has diversified the ecommerce audience - with older groups driving growth - and impacted behaviour among established shoppers. 

As Elizabeth Lane, IAB UK’s Head of Research and Measurement explains: “Retail has changed forever over the last year and as we begin to plan for life after lockdown now is the time for marketers to be establishing what their customer base looks like, what their priorities are and mindset is, and how best they can be reached.” 

The research provides a deep-dive into the behaviours are sentiment among heavy ecommerce users. Here are some of the key findings: 

  • Shopping online has increased during the pandemic - across both groceries and retail - and it will be sustained, with 57% agreeing that they don’t plan to reduce their shopping online once the pandemic is over 

  • Those aged 55+ have driven the growth across the four highest-growing ecommerce categories - with an overall increase in spend for food and drink; clothing and fashion; home and garden; personal care and beauty 

  • Social media and word-of-mouth being the key drivers for 16-34s, while older age groups are more likely to turn to retailers and online stores - 45% of 35-54s and 55% of 55+

  • Younger shoppers have turned to local retailers during the past year, with 62% of 16-34s saying they have bought more things online from local shops, while the same proportion of 25-44s are shunning chains in favour of independent retailers

Find out more about Real Living here

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IAB UK

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